E-3 Nonimmigrant Worker Petition Approved for an Australian Citizen
Getson & Schatz, P.C. successfully represented a United States corporation engaged in public relations and marketing in sponsoring an Australian Citizen for E-3 Nonimmigrant Status. E-3 is a work authorized status for which only citizens of Australia are eligible. The E-3 visa is similar in many respects to the H-1B visa. Important differences include the fact that spouses of E-3 visa holders may obtain authorization to work in the United States without restrictions, that the E-3 visa is renewable indefinitely (in two-year increments) and that the application process can be done directly at a US Consulate. Australian citizens applying for an E-3 visa are not subject to the 65,000 annual visa limit for H-1B visas. There is a separate annual quota of 10,500 E-3 visas but it is generally not reached. There are two steps in the process of applying for E-3 status. First, the employer submits a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor (DOL) for certification. The information required in the LCA is designed to establish that the employee will be paid the legally required wage, and that other similarly situated workers will not be adversely affected. Second, the employer either files a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change of status to E-3 if the employee is already in the United States in another lawful nonimmigrant status or the employee files for an E-3 visa directly at a US Consulate in Australia. To be successful, the petition for E-3 status must establish that the employee has at a minimum a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specialized field and that the position to be filled requires a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specialized field. The E-3 petition we filed was for a change of status from F-1 (Student) to E-3. In support of the employer’s E-3 petition, we submitted a certified LCA; a letter providing extensive information on the nature and history of the employer’s business, the specific duties of the position to be filled, the educational requirements for the position, and the employee’s educational background; documentation about the employer’s business; documentation about the employee’s educational credentials; and documentation that the employee was maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status. USCIS approved the I-129 petition and issued an I-797A Approval Notice granting the employee E-3 Nonimmigrant Worker status.